RICHMOND, Va. -- The Wizards are entering Day 2 of training camp on Wednesday, with another set of two-a-days under new coach Scott Brooks who has changed the tone of how things are being done.
Our first impressions from the Siegel Center on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University:
1. Scott Brooks is all about DEFENSE. The entire morning practice was dedicated to getting better on that side of the floor. Wizards last year allowed teams to shoot 46% from the field, which ranked towards the lower third of the league.
2. John Wall is back. Well almost. Limited to just 3-on-3, Wall took part in about half of the morning practice, but showed he indeed has the speed to push pace like he’s done the first six years of his all star career.
3. Eighteen in camp only 15 can make it. Technically six players are fighting for two spots. Let the competition begin. I’m keeping my eyes focused on Danuel Housem Sheldon McClellan and Jarell Eddie. Each has a unique skill set that will make the decision hard for Brooks to trim down the roster.
1. Wall will be ready to start the regular season as long as he doesn't have any setbacks. This is a hunch based on how he looked on the first day. The regular season is a month away and I don't think anyone thought he'd be this far along at this point. Not even Wall. I saw him in June and his left knee (bone spurs) still had a long way to go.
2. Kelly Oubre is going to play a significant role. Will he start or back up Otto Porter? I'm not sure. But pairing him with a coach like Brooks will take him to a new level. Oubre's attitude and thirst for defense coupled with his physical gifts puts him ahead of a lot of players at his age and experience.
3. Brooks is the Wizards' best offseason acquisition. He's the right man for the job and he's what this impressionable group, minus a lot of core vets from recent years past, requires. If you don't put forth maximum effort on defense under Brooks, you likely won't play much. He's got the reputation of a "player's coach" but he put his foot down immediately that there won't be a repeat of what he saw on film from last season. This was a primary reason for his hiring. He's the right fit.